With the Aim to Wonder
A simple walk can be enjoyable, especially when discovering and remembrance interacts with each other. Encountering old and forgotten subjects can stoke emotion. They cannot be seen, they cannot be touched, they must be felt with the heart.
The pull of art in Carmen Li’s life has always been evident, both to her and those who know her. As a young girl living in her birthplace of Hong Kong, Carmen would eagerly await her father’s return from work because it signaled the chance to do what she loved — create art. Her experience as a daughter in a son-preferenced family would later evolve into the themes of opposition towards gender inequality in her work.
Although she was one of three daughters and a single son within a son-preferenced family, Carmen’s father noted her natural artistic inclination and fostered it, stealing paper for her to draw on even amid his exhaustive workday. These gestures of support gave her an escape and a space of her own in a family of seven living within 400 square feet of public housing — even if that space was only on paper.
Before Carmen made the journey from Hong Kong to the United States that would go on to influence her work, she obtained her degree with honor from the Swire School of Design of Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Design Communications. Though Carmen frequently travels back to Hong Kong for inspiration from her birthplace, she left before its handover in 1997, making New York City her adopted home.
Carmen was recruited and sponsored by the Madison Ave agency Adler Boschetto Peebles and Partners, cementing her place in the city that has expanded her artistic practice and ascent into a vibrant culture of art. Carmen Li now focuses more on creating work from her studio in Woodstock, where she uses the medium of mixed media collage to explore concepts of identity, migration, communist oppression, and gender inequality.